Music is an important part of our lives, and it has been for a very long time, especially since it’s an area where people are able to express their own creativity in multiple ways. For this reason, if you’ve been thinking about starting to make your own music, you are not wrong, but you might also not be sure where to start.
The first thing that comes to mind might be to become a music producer. This is a role that has changed a lot over the years. If at the beginning it was all about booking studio sessions and hiring musicians, today it’s more in the direction of making beats and having a real creative input, so this is a good place to start looking as you are making your next plans.
Famous music producers are always involved in records that reach the highest levels in charts, and they are also subject to media attention. However, it does take a lot of time and work to get there. Today, musicians are learning how to produce their own music, while producers get involved in the creative part a lot.
Where to start?
Of course, the first thing you may be thinking about is getting the necessary gear. However, before venturing into the pool of products and devices that you can and need to buy, you should take a moment and think about how you are going to approach the entire project. You do need to have some musical skills to get into this business.
For example, if you are in a restaurant where a band is playing, you need to be able to hear the music but while you listen, to think about how you would proceed if you would be in a recording studio with the band members. If you were to produce the exact song that they are playing, how would you go about it?
The vocal, for instance, might need some delay, reverb, or compression, to give it the proper sound and atmosphere. Next, you can think about the guitar. Should it be loud? If so, how loud? Would you rather go for a soft or a more aggressive strike? Given that you would be in the position to produce the song, maybe you would think that a drum machine could work better than the band’s drummer.
The same goes for the bass player who might be terrific on the stage, but maybe in a studio setting a synth bass could work better to obtain various textures and more electronic capabilities. By producing a song you decide how it’s going to sound, and this takes a bit of imagination, a lot of experience, as well as musical talent.
However, the great part about this job is that you can learn a lot every day, so if you’re thinking that maybe you’re lacking something, you should give it a try and not abandon the idea before even getting started.
A few words on the gear
There are some devices that you are definitely going to need, and one of these is good music making software. Such software is also known as a DAW, or digital audio workstation, and it is, in fact, an application that can be used for recording, editing, and of course producing audio sounds.
In today’s world where technology has evolved a lot, you can also find plenty of smartphone apps that come with many features. Even though you may not be able to do everything using such an app, it’s definitely a very useful way to learn more and start making your own edits. Also, the great part about apps is that you can find free ones that still deliver very good results.
You may also want to look through dedicated pad controllers and keyboards, given that these devices help you create the desired sounds without being limited to what a computer’s keyboard can do. Plus, the different soundscapes can be balanced out using a good mixing tool, and you can use these to push your creativity and experimentation from a musical point of view.
Another element you are going to need consists of plugins. These work for synthesizing sounds or digitally processing them, so you may find a good use for getting additional ones. The great part, though, is that music software usually already includes some great effects, so you can start from there and see what else you are going to need in the long run.
Photo: unsplash-logoAustin Neill